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Choosing the Best Motherboard for Intel's Core i5-9600

Find out what factors you should consider when choosing a motherboard for Intel's 9th generation Core i5-9600, along with our recommended motherboards to pair with this CPU.

Choosing the Best Motherboard for Intel's Core i5-9600 Kevin Jones / TechReviewer

Last Updated: May 25, 2023

Written by Kevin Jones

When building a powerful and efficient PC with Intel's 9th generation Core i5-9600 processor, selecting the right motherboard is crucial. Through our experience as PC builders, we know the importance of finding the most suitable match between your processor and motherboard. In this article, we will walk you through the essential factors to consider when choosing a motherboard for the Core i5-9600. With our analysis and breakdown, you can make an informed decision to optimize your system's performance.

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Motherboard Requirements for Core i5-9600 Processors

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For Intel's 9th generation Core i5 9600 processor, you'll need a motherboard with an LGA 1151 socket and 300-series chipset.

Motherboards for Intel processors are made with chipsets provided by Intel. Each chipset offers a unique set of capabilities. However, motherboards must explicitly support features and capabilities for you to use them. Verify that a motherboard supports the features and capabilities you desire.

The lack of a "K" suffix in the model name 9600 means it doesn't support overclocking. Because of this, you may not need to use the top of the line Z390 or Z370 chipsets which support overclocking. Instead, you can use a motherboard with Intel's other 300-series desktop chipsets listed below.

For compatiblity with Intel's 11th generation Core processors, you can use any of the 300-series chipsets: Z390, Z370, H370, B365, B360, H310. These are roughly sorted from most to least functionality.

The Q370 chipset is also compatible, but is intended for business use cases; its availability in stand-alone motherboards is limited.

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For a detailed comparison of these chipsets, check out my article Which Chipsets Work With Intel's Core i5-9600 CPU?.

Other Considerations When Choosing a 9600 Motherboard

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When choosing a motherboard for the 9600, we've thought of a few other factors you may want to consider. This is in addition to selecting a compatible socket type and chipset. As we delved into our research and analyzed various options, we identified several considerations that played a significant role in determining the ideal chipset for our needs. Our considerations can help you narrow down which features are important to look for.

Memory Overclocking

To be able to overclock DDR memory, such as via an XMP profile, your motherboard chipset needs to support memory overclocking. Find which chipsets support overclocking in our article, Which Chipsets Work With Intel's Core i5-9600 CPU?.

Video Output Port

The lack of an "F" in the 9600 model name indicates that the CPU has integrated graphics support. You will need to make sure that your motherboard also has a video output port (e.g., HDMI) if you want to use the integrated graphics.

Even if you primarily connect your monitors to a graphics card, we found that integrated graphics can be beneficial when troubleshooting and fixing graphics card problems.

Storage: M.2 Slots and SATA Ports

NVMe M.2 cards are the latest and fastest SSD storage form. However, we suggest ensuring your motherboard includes enough slots.

The Z390, Z370, and Q370 chipsets support the most PCIe 3.0 lanes, which means that motherboards with these chipsets are likely to have the most x4 NVMe M.2 slots available.

Learn more about storage types in our article Storage Type Comparison: M.2, U.2, NVMe, SATA, SSDs, HDDs.



We found that it's wise to make sure the motherboard provides enough USB ports at your desired speeds. The Z390 and Q370 can support the most USB ports for the 9600 at USB 3.2 2x1 (10 Gbps) and USB 3.2 1x1 (5 Gbps) speeds.

In our experience, the devices that usually require high bandwidth rates are primarily limited to storage devices and high-resolution video devices. We have observed that these devices often rely heavily on fast data transfer speeds. In fact, we encountered situations where slower bandwidth rates significantly hindered such devices' performance.

We've tested various storage devices and found that the ones capable of handling large amounts of data transfer at high speeds yielded the best results. Similarly, when working with high-resolution video devices, we discovered that a reliable and fast connection was crucial for seamless playback and editing. Through our experience, we have come to appreciate the significance of high bandwidth rates for these specific types of devices.


We recommend making sure the motherboard has audio outputs. In my experience, it's crucial to check for rear and center speaker ports if you're using a surround sound system.

If you're like me and your audio equipment relies on optical input, it's worth looking for a motherboard that includes this specific port. On the other hand, we've found that you can also buy a separate PCIe or USB sound card. This way, you can expand your port options and even add features like optical or RCA connections based on your own preferences.

Form Factor

When it comes to motherboards, we've come across three main form factors. In our experience, ATX stands out as the most common form factor for desktop PCs. We've also tried and analyzed the Mini-ITX and MicroATX form factors for building a mini-PC. We have found that these smaller form factors typically have fewer PCIe card slots, fewer RAM slots, and can't support as many storage devices.

We've seen that these smaller Mini-ITX and MicroATX motherboard form factors are backward compatible with standard ATX cases. We observed that they use a subset of the ATX mounting holes. In fact, we've used Mini-ITX motherboards in ATX cases many times.

One crucial consideration is ensuring that your computer case is compatible with your specific motherboard form factor. We learned this through our own experiences and it's important to choose a case that matches your motherboard form factor.

PCIe Expansion Slots

Based on our analysis, the Z390, Z370, and Q370 chipsets provide the most flexibility when paired with the 9600, allowing multiple PCIe 3.0 graphics cards in the dual x8 configuration.

The other chipsets, on the other hand, are very limited, with only a single PCIe 3.0 x16 slot.

Learn More About the Intel Core i5-9600

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Other Considerations When Building a PC

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Want to brush up on other new technologies to consider when building a computer? Check out these articles:

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